Parish Giving Scheme
The Diocese of St Albans has invested in a professional, national donation management system known as the Parish Giving Scheme which aims to ease the administrative burden for parishes, increasing efficiency and improve planned giving.
The Diocese of St Albans wants to support our parishes by making the whole process of giving easier and more efficient. We believe that through signing up to this Direct Debit based scheme, parishes have an efficient way of encouraging giving, whilst reducing the workload on parish treasurers.
It’s a scheme where everyone benefits – The church, the treasurer, and the individual giver.
This tax efficient way of managing giving to your church is tried and tested by several dioceses. The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS):
– Every penny donated goes into the church account, within 10 working days, with Gift Aid added where available
– Dramatically reduces the time your treasurers and Gift Aid Secretaries need to devote to administration
– Gives your church regular, speedy payments and returns from Gift Aid
– Offers an easy way to tackle static giving with the value of gifts being raised by inflation on an annual basis, (withe the permission of the giver)
– Offers an opportunity for parishes to re-engage people in thinking about their level of financial generosity.
The Parish Giving Scheme allows all who currently give by standing order, envelopes or cash on the offering plate to plan and manage their giving through Direct Debit.
It’s easy to set up and manage. All the PCC needs to do is pass a resolution to start the Scheme and show leadership by joining and encouraging others to join. The diocese covers the administrative cost so it is free to churches and the Parish Giving Scheme – a joint venture charitable company, owned by the charity and the participating diocese – does all the work.
The church benefits by:
• Efficient reclaim of Gift Aid
• Improved cash flow
• Regular known payments – assists with budgets
• Improved payment reconciliation – monthly statements
• Stable and often increased planned giving – offsetting ‘static’ giving.
• Protection against inflation by church members choosing to increase their gift annually by inflation rate.
• Efficient modern service tried and tested by several dioceses
The treasurer benefits by:
• Reduced administration and paperwork.
• Saves time for them and people who count the money
• Improved security buy reducing amount of cash being banked
• Regular improved cash flow assisting control of budgets
The individual benefits by:
• Being in total control of how much they give.
• A simple giving method that means regular financial support to their church.
• The option to increase giving annually to protect their gift against inflation.
• The Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme protects the gifts.
• They can give anonymously if so desired.
Download the information leaflets by clicking on the links below:
How does the Scheme work?
The Parish Giving Scheme enables a planned giver to donate to any parish registered with the scheme.
Donations can be made on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. They are collected by Direct Debit on the first day of the month. The gift – plus any related Gift Aid – is then passed on to the specific parish by the tenth working day of the month.
Here’s what the process looks like, based on an example gift of £40 a month:
The parish’s Gift Aid Secretary or Treasurer will receive a monthly report from the Parish Giving Scheme Administration Team listing donors, gifts and Gift Aid claimed.
Saving time with Gift Aid Claims
Most churches spend a considerable amount of time preparing and submitting claims to HMRC for Gift Aid. PGS claim any related Gift Aid direct from HMRC and remit the entire amount of the donation and Gift Aid to the church account within 10 working days. This means that not only is the burden of making claims reduced, but for the majority of churches the benefit of Gift Aid is received into the church account almost immediately, affording the church a considerably increased amount of ready cash.
One of the biggest challenges faced by many churches is that of ‘static giving’. Churches, like every organisation and household is hit by inflation, eroding the value of your gifts. The Parish Giving Scheme makes it easy for donors to agree, in principle, to increase their donation in line with inflation each year. So far, nearly two thirds of donors participating in other dioceses have opted for this annual increase. If financial circumstances change it is easy to decline or increase the inflationary uplift when the annual inflationary letter arrives. Gifts can also be increased, reduced or even stopped at any time during the year by calling the Parish Giving Scheme Administration Team.
An opportunity to engage
As well as the benefits listed above, the introduction of such a Scheme offers a clear and excellent opportunity to engage people in thinking about levels of financial generosity. We will be recommending that a church ought to have recently held a stewardship initiative – or commit to one – alongside the implementation of the Parish Giving Scheme in their parish.
To assist parishes with this recommendation have put together a stewardship toolkit designed to help guide parishes through the process of implementing a programme of stewardship. Click here for stewardship resources/ toolkit.
If you have any queries please contact the Church Growth Administrator.